Jim Hare began the program by telling the Center’s creation story. From a seed planted in 2009, until the Fall of 2016, dozens of people and sanghas have worked to nurture the seed which has flowered into our permanent, historical home for Buddhism. A deep parable about our interdependence. Rich Howard offered a welcome on behalf of Sacramento Insight Meditation, reminding us that our actions flow forward to the children of our community and what a precious opportunity that presents: our interbeing. Reverend Myo Lahey, welcomed the community on behalf of Valley Steams Zen Sangha. His delight in SDC was palpable and he noted our collaborative effort nourishes not only our region, but also helps American Buddhism rise up. On behalf of SBMG, Reverend Bob Oshita reminded us to seek and practice what resonates. Buddhism, he said, offers a smorgasbord of Dharmic lessons; it is in our seeking that we will find.City Council member Eric Guerra and Bishop Jon Fish of the Sacramento Interfaith Council welcomed us to our neighborhood and larger community. Eric later posted a photo on facebook stating, “We have new center for the community to find peace & meditation at the Sacramemto Dharma Center.”
Sister Amma Thanasanti, of the Aranya Bodhi Forest Hermitage, brought us back to center, welcoming sangha and lay community to our refuge. Leading us in chanting the Brahmaviharas in Pali surely permeated the meditation hall with wise energy!
Our gratefulness goes to the dozens of donors who have helped, and continue to help, with the financial dana needed to purchase and operate the Dharma Center. We are thankful for the many volunteers who put in hours making the building and grounds even more beautiful than before, preparing and setting out food, then clearing and washing. A heartfelt shout out to Valley Streams Zen Sangha for graciously serving tea!
Another welcoming community event took place on Jan. 20, when we hosted the Inauguration Day Sitting, offering a time of peace and groundedness for about 70 folks who came to participate throughout the morning.
December-January improvements at SDC include: garden clean-up and plantings; walkway for the shed; window washing; art pieces up on the walls; grout cleaned and brightened in the older restrooms; Library taking shape with bookshelves almost full; Board applying for SMUD rebates for energy-saving and appealing LED lighting to replace fluorescents bright new prayer flags and more donated by Zanzibar Trading Co.; and a Lost and Found now available in the building manager’s office near west entry.
We are deeply grateful for the generous gifts which came in for our end-of-year campaign, allowing us to move forward with these improvements, the new heater and air conditioning unit, and the upcoming all-sangha envisioning process for our garden space and building. May you enjoy the merit and joy of giving to our collective efforts to creating a sanctuary for meditation and Buddha’s teachings, welcoming everyone who seeks to end suffering and live in harmony.